Columbus Junction pork processing plant hit hard by coronavirus with 186 positive cases
Des Moines Register: Soaring numbers of workers at the Columbus Junction pork-processing plant who have been sickened by COVID-19 have sparked fears not only for the employees’ health but also for the vitality of this small town and the continuity of the nation’s meat supply. Officials from Tyson Foods have closed the Louisa County plant amid one of the state’s largest outbreaks of COVID-19: 186 employees have tested positive for the illness. The facility is one of the nation’s major pork processing plants and the rural community’s largest employer. “We are taking on water fast,” National Pork Producers Council President Howard “A.V.” Roth said, adding that thousands of hog farms could close this year without government intervention. “Immediate action is imperative, or a lot of hog farms will go under.”
Six long-term care facilities statewide have coronavirus outbreaks, totaling 202 cases
Des Moines Register: The number of long-term care centers that have outbreaks of positive coronavirus cases has doubled, according to new data released by the Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday. Six care centers have reported a total of 202 cases. Those six are considered to have an “outbreak,” meaning there are three or more residents who test positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.
Trump’s halt to WHO funding prompts condemnation as coronavirus cases near 2 million
Reuters: President Donald Trump’s move to halt funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic prompted condemnation today from world leaders as recorded global infections approached the 2 million mark. Trump, who has reacted angrily to accusations that his administration’s response to the worst epidemic in a century was haphazard and too slow, had become increasingly hostile toward the U.N. agency before announcing the halt on Tuesday. The WHO, which is based in Geneva, had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak than otherwise would have occurred, Trump said.
– U.S. retail sales slump 8.7% in March, deepest drop on record (CNN Business)
– U.S. manufacturing output posts biggest drop since 1946 (Reuters)
– Stocks slide as retail sales suffer historic plunge (New York Times)